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Luxembourg's Dudelange, Finland's HJK and even Ireland's Shamrock Rovers all progressed to the second round on what proved to be a dramatic day of qualifying action.
One team not on that list are Polish champions Lech Poznan who were dumped out of the competition by Azerbaijan's Qarabag following a 5-2 aggregate defeat. Robert Lewandowski's former club took a 1-0 lead into the second leg and even scored in the opening minute of the second match to take full control of the tie. However, a calamitous performance from the Poznan goalkeeper allowed Qarabag to score five goals and secure their spot in the next round. The result leaves Poland without a team in Europe's premier club competition, meaning they join a list of 11 other nations suffering the same fate. Those include, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar, Latvia, Malta, Estonia, Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Kosovo and Bosnia & Hercegovina.
After a fiery start to the match, Lech Poznań were unable to keep up with Qarabag FK's intensity.
Unfortunately, this means no Polish clubs in either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League this year.#UCL #QARLPO pic.twitter.com/uySuttxTfP
— PSN Futbol (@PSN_Futbol) July 12, 2022
This is the second time in three years that the Polish champion has faced a first-round exit in the Champions League. In fact, the last team to qualify for the group stage of the competition was Legia Warszawa back in 2016/17. The side famously suffered an 8-4 defeat to Borussia Dortmund during that European campaign. Interestingly, that was the only time since 1997 that a Polish side had qualified for the group stage of the Champions League.
As a result of their humiliating defeat, Lech have become a laughing stock on social media, with fans blasting the collapse in Azerbaijan. The team will now move into the second qualifying round of the Europa Conference League.
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